News Department

COVID-19: Morris County issues emergency declaration

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Morris County has issued an emergency declaration Thursday in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak that places restrictions on recreational business and recreational activities in Morris County starting tonight.

“This is a very serious and difficult situation that requires county government to act strongly and decisively to help control the spread of the coronavirus,’’ Freeholder Director Deborah Smith said. “We ask all county residents to join with us and pull together in a united fashion to deal with this life-and-death issue, to help limit the community spread of this virus, which has disrupted our entire society.’’

The county is making this emergency declaration in consultation with local health officials who find that the evidence of community spread of COVID-19 continues to pose an increased risk to the safety of the people of Morris County.

Per the emergency declaration, effective 8:00 p.m. Thursday the following types of businesses are ordered closed, within the geographic borders of Morris County:

  • Any Indoor Public or Private Recreational Bathing Facilities regulated by local health departments;
  • Indoor Recreational Facilities, including but not limited to those providing amusement activities, trampoline parks, miniature golf, batting cages, racquetball/tennis centers, and ice rinks;

The following restrictions also go into effect immediately:

  • All playgrounds and all playing fields within Morris County shall be closed immediately;
  • Parks may remain open for only passive recreation, with the following restrictions to be enforced;
    • no organized or directed activities are allowed;
    • all park activities that bring together groups of more than four individuals (other than family members) are prohibited, including playgrounds, dog runs, amusement rides, and stables (except for the care of horses at stables).

Local authorities will have the ability to enforce these new rules.

Also, in the interest of public health and safety, the emergency declaration also calls for the future establishment of a county drive-through virus sampling site to help deter community spread of the virus.  More information will be forthcoming on this project.

The terms of this Morris County emergency declaration will remain in effect until further order. It may be modified, altered, and/or amended as the situation develops.

The county emergency declaration supplements items addressed in Gov. Phil Murphy’s state executive order. That order limits social gatherings to 50 people or less, and closed all gaming facilities, race tracks, and other entertainment centers, and directed all non-essential retail, recreation, and entertainment business to close.

To read the text of the county emergency order, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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